On Friday 11th July on a winter’s day that promised torrential rain, 18 people from the NZCC chiropractic family gathered in Auckland central business district. Our aim was to brighten people’s day by reminding them that they are special, valued and loved by wrapping them up in big, warm-hearted hugs.
The day kicked off with an interview on an Auckland radio station, Mix FM 98.2, about our Free Hugs and Compliments , which was an awesome opportunity for WCCS, chiropractic and the New Zealand College of Chiropractic. It was heaps of fun and a great way to promote our event!
From 4pm we donned our bright blue bandanas, NZCC wrist bands, Free Hugs signs and took the streets of Auckland. We were based at 5 sites around the city and quickly got into the NZCC groove of GIVE LOVE. We tallied up the hugs and estimated that we gave (and received) nearly 2400 hugs!!! From babies, toddlers, to the elderly, policemen, the navy, truck drivers who jumped out of their trucks, tourists, students, people who had just been released from prison, people who had that day lost their jobs, corporates, dancing crew and people who just needed a good bear hug – we hugged them all! It was beautiful to watch the after effects too. People smiled, laughed, hugged and kissed each other, came back for more, took photos and, if even for a moment, they were happy!
It was a truly amazing, head-to-toe-warming experience for all of us. The stories and memories we each have will stay with us for years to come. I’d like to thank the 17 other volunteers who braved Auckland’s unpredictable weather – Sonya, Leesha, Jess, Gwen, Rebecca, Vikki, Grace, Caroline, Andrew, Lorne, Josephine, Elly, Krishna, Jenna, Matt, Kudzai and Kara. You made this event. It was special because each and every one of you gave love unconditionally and that was what the Free Hugs event was all about!
I cannot wait until our next event of this kind and to see what the NZCC chapter and its extended family will do! We never know how far reaching such a ‘small’ act as a hug or smile will have on someone’s life and judging from what I experienced last night, the world needs MUCH more random acts of kindness!